Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If you've been reading public enemy number #2 from the beginning then you might remember a political post right critique a poorly written bill. Something about keeping “mass murder sims” away from children that some evil libertarian free-speech lovers don't want. If you forgot or your new reader you can read my post here and remember the Supreme Court will hear this bill on November 2.

I'm bringing this up because when the bill is brought up on sites like Game Politics or Kotaku They always seem to be some comments from people who either don't see the threat or welcome the Bill. If you qualify as either than I am concerned that you lack the necessary awareness to know when your liberties are being taken away. So I will further explain why this bill is a very bad thing, and I will explain it in easy to read bullet points so that even those unaccustomed to thinking for themselves can understand.

    This bill is a violation of the First Amendment.
This bill enables the state of California to decide what is “unacceptable” to minors. If you want your government to think for you perhaps you should move to China.

The game industry's self-regulation works.
Mostly thanks to hysteria I'm arguing against, it is a universal store policy to treat a game rated “M” by the ESRB as (almost) tobacco and alcohol. Furthermore according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission 80% of individuals 17 and under were turned away when trying to purchasing and reading game. Also, according to statistics from the ESRB a child's parent(s) are present 93% of the time when purchasing for their child and approve the game 86% of the time.

This bill treats video games like porn.
In my opinion the real goal of this legislation is to spread further for fear and hysteria of the content in video games. One of the pieces of “evidence” in support of passing this bill is a montage of violence from Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Postal 2 and 50 Cent: Bulletproof, only one of these is popular and none of them are well made. The special interest lobbying groups don't want you to know that some of this year's biggest releases are Gran Turismo 5, Little Big Planet 2 and Civilization V these games are generally nonviolent by most standards. Another thing they don't want to know is that many well-adjusted adults enjoy videogames, the Civilization series being a very good example of this (Civ is too slow and too rich for children).

This bill will achieve nothing, at best
remember when he cited statistics from the ESRB? That the child's parent is present 93% of the time games are purchased and approves of the game 86% of the time? Based on these statistics do you really believe that enforcing a minimum age to purchase will achieve anything? Any logical person would say “no”. The best that could happen under this bill is that the state of California wastes money. The worst that could happen is creating a culture of fear within the videogame industry. You think Wal-Mart or Best Buy would want to sell a game that is considered porn and under the law?

This bill is written like ass.
I could write a whole article about how vague and wishy-washy language in this bill is. In fact I already did!

Furthermore to show that I didn't pull them out of my ass, here are the statistics are used.

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